Last week I posted a recipe for radler, a refreshing lemonade-beer concoction perfect for enjoying on a beautiful sunny barbecuey day. I was about to make more ginger lemonade and decided to zest them before I cut them in half. Normally I would use the juiced lemon halves when washing dishes (it helps cut grease, I “wipe” my soapy pans with them) but today, in addition to saving the halves for dishwashing duty, I zested six lemons and added a cup of sugar to make a wonderfully fragrant lemon sugar:

The oils from the lemon distribute throughout the sugar, so to help reduce any excess moisture I put it in a large frying pan and heated it on low for about 5 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. It will stay a bit clumpy because of the oils, so just let it cool down before storing it in an airtight jar and use within a few days.

You can use this sugar in any of your baked goods, tea, or wherever you want a bit of lemony sweetness. Here’s an easy recipe where lemon and coconut are combined to make a light, lemony macaroon. I adapted the recipe from one my sister gave me by replacing wheat flour with coconut flour and adding lemon juice. The macaroons came out nice and chewy with a light lemon flavor and lots of coconut throughout.

Gluten free, dairy free Coconut Lemon Macaroons

Coconut Lemon Macaroons (gluten-free)
Adapted from http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/First-Place-Coconut-Macaroons

Ingredients

1-1/3 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup lemon sugar
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla; mix well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

 

Thanks for checking out my first “Flavor of the Week” post! Come back every Monday to see a new featured flavor at: https://thefoodery.wordpress.com/flavor-of-the-week/.


It’s that time of week again, folks! Time to sit back and enjoy another episode of “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW,) sponsored by the good folks at Peas and Crayons, where “Food is art and you are what you eat. So eat healthy…eat happy…eat pretty!”

(applause!)

Today I’ll be featuring a recipe that I’ve been making for the past ten years or so. It’s the longest-running recipe I’ve had, and is the only recipe I have ever memorized. It’s been my favorite for weekend breakfasts and presenting them as thank-you gifts, and I like to think that I’m pretty darn good at making them. So deciding to change up an old standard like this one by making it gluten-free made me a bit nervous.

But before I get further into this discussion, here’s a quick run-down of foods from the past couple of days:

Breakfast was coffee (no photo but it was dark, sweet and delicious) and a home-baked treat of my featured food, gluten-free scones (recipe below):

 

Cheddar & Asiago cheese scones in my husband’s childhood milk cup. :)

Lunch was a mixed-greens salad with some mixed-colored veggies. I was never a big fan of making my own salads, so adding tons of color is a good way to have a healthy bowl of greens (and purples and reds and oranges!):

Dinner was Turkey Bean Burgers seasoned with miso paste on rice noodles tossed with seaweed & miso dressing. This was supposed to have been submitted in Monday’s Recipe Redux Challenge, but I wasn’t totally happy with how it turned out. The seaweed in the patties didn’t stand out as much as I hoped for, and the rice noodles could have used some “oomph,” perhaps with more veggies tossed in, and not just sitting under it!

Miso paste in the patties gave it a nice flavor.

Now, here’s a little more background on the scones I’m featuring today. This is a recipe I first came across ten years ago from Joy of Baking and is by far the most delicious and easiest baked good ever made. The scones have a crisp, almost flaky exterior which keeps the insides soft and flavorful. Fresh from the oven, you can split them in half and slather on some butter as the warm, steamy centers melt them into delicious oblivion.

Since I am trying to stay wheat-free as much as possible, I modified this recipe by switching out the regular flour for a gluten-free blend, courtesy of Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts. The result? Deliciously tender, melt-in-your-mouth, crisp, flavorful bites of gluten-free indulgence!

Cream Scones, original recipe from Joy of Baking
Best if eaten within a day or two, but freeze any extras you may have tightly wrapped in foil. Defrost by leaving out for 15 minutes, then pop in toaster oven on medium setting. It will taste like it was freshly baked.

2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used 2 parts white rice flour, 2/3 parts potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix already includes this!)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup cold, unsalted butter
add-ins (optional, see below)*
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla

*optional add-ins:
– 1/2 cup chocolate chips + 1/3 cup chopped nuts or chopped cherries
–  1/2 cup chocolate chips + 1/3 cup shredded, toasted unsweetened coconut + 1 teaspoon coconut extract
– 1/2 cup dried cherries or blueberries
– 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (reduce sugar to 1/4 cup)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat, set aside.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until butter pieces are about pea-sized. With a rubber spatula, gently mix in one of the add-in ingredients listed above. Set aside.

In a measuring cup, add 1/2 cup cream, vanilla, and 1 egg. Mix until well incorporated. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Dough should be just a little sticky. Divide dough in half, forming each into a ball. Flatten ball to a circle about 1″ thick. Cut into 8 triangles, set on cookie sheet about 1″ apart. Repeat with remaining dough.

Beat remaining egg white with 1 tablespoon cream. Using a pastry brush or back of a spoon, brush scones with egg wash.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until tops begin to turn golden, rotating tray 180 degrees halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let sit for for a minute before transferring to serving plate. Serve warm with butter or preserves.

Cut each circle into 8 little triangles. Alternatively, you can roll out the entire dough and use a round cookie cutter.

The eggs from my sister’s chickens have a rich, yellowy-orange yolk. You can see how thick it is in the egg wash used to brush the tops of the scones.

These tender scones are delicious with coffee or tea, or even as a late night snack.

Happy Wednesday, everybody! It’s my third attempt at WIAW sponsered by Jenn at Peas and Crayons, and I’ve enjoyed reading all the other bloggers’ pages to get new ideas and inspiration for future meals.

This past week of eats has included more meats than usual. Chicken tikka, barbecued chicken and some grilled bison steak were served up and enjoyed immensely! I still include some raw veggies for breakfast and lunch, as well as with the meaty meals, so haven’t gone too overboard with the change in diet.

Breakfast was a bowl of VeggieNook’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Green Smoothie served outdoors (I’ve been eating this pretty much every day, it is that delicious, and my husband likes it, too! ) Next week, I promise I will post a different breakfast picture:

For contrast, I have to include a picture of my husband’s breakfast:

Fresh eggs from my sister’s hens, jalapeno cheese hot dogs and half a strawberry. :)

Lunch was leftover tuna fish-stuffed sweet peppers and salad. I started eating the salad before I remembered to take a photo, but here’s a pic of the stuffed peppers:

Dinner was done Hawaii-style with Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi (I think Justa’s panko-crusted fish got me hungry for this crunchy dish!) I served it with Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce because the fish itself only had flavor on the coating, but you can also make a good dipping sauce with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon soy sauce. There was extra panko mixture so I cooked up some chicken, too:

Anything panko-crusted is hard to resist!

And dessert was a slice of gluten-free Sweet Potato Haupia Pie, freshly posted yesterday!

For the Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi, you can use any fish that is suitable for pan frying. I didn’t know which brand of panko to get around these parts, so my sister recommended Sushi Chef Panko found at Weis Markets (it comes in a black cardboard box, about the size of a cornstarch box.) It stayed nice and crispy and tasted very much like the panko I used to buy in Hawaii.

Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi, serves 2
Be sure to steam some rice before cooking the fish.

2 ahi fillets (about 6-8 ounces total)
2 tablespoons furikake
1/2 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1 egg
1 tablespoon ice water
2 tablespoons flour
salt
oil for frying

Instructions:

Line a large plate with paper towels, set aside.

Place ahi fillets or pieces on a plate in single layer and rub with a pinch of salt on both sides. Set aside. Mix furikake and panko in a pie pan or dish. In another pie pan or small bowl beat egg and water. Pour oil into a large frying pan until 1/4″ depth and heat on medium high.

Meanwhile, dust fish with flour, coating all sides. Next, dip fish pieces into egg wash, one at a time, making sure all sides are coated. Transfer to panko mixture, turning to coat evenly.

To test if oil is hot enough, drop a small dusting of flour into oil,  it should start to bubble and sizzle. Add fish pieces one at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook fish pieces for 2-3 minutes on one side (or less if fish pieces are thin,) turning heat down to medium. Fry for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.  Transfer cooked fish to paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce or mayonnaise-soy sauce mix (1 tablespoon mayo to 1 teaspoon soy sauce.)

Eat well!

For those who haven’t tried haupia, this dessert will be deliciously different!

For those who enjoy coconut, or sweet potatoes, or both, this dessert may very well be something for you to try out. Haupia is a firm coconut pudding made with coconut milk, water, corn starch and sugar. Very simple recipe, easy to make, and very popularity in Hawaii. You can easily find haupia in the form of pies, layered puddings or in a small packet of powdered mix that you can just add some water, chill for a few hours and it’s ready to eat. And, of course, you will no doubt come across little paper trays of chilled haupia squares at luaus or Hawaiian food eateries.

Sweet Potato Haupia Pie combines the cool, silky texture of haupia; a rich yet light layer of Okinawan sweet potato filling; and a crumbly shortbread crust usually sprinkled with toasted macadamia nuts.  The haupia lightens up the dessert, giving it a refreshing yet creamy taste, unlike that of a regular whipped topping (which can be added on top of the haupia, if you like!)

I made my own version (used regular sweet potatoes, no Okinawan ones at the market) and admit I couldn’t wait the allotted time to eat it, so my haupia was a bit runny and the flavors not quite developed. Thankfully, I made two pans, so was able to get you a nice photo of this wonderful dessert the next morning. The gluten-free crust is an excellent choice for this recipe. The texture is very light and crumbly, and the addition of coconut and toasted macadamia nuts gives it an extra crunch.

This is a three-step process: baking the crust, making the filling, and chilling the pie with the haupia topping. Be sure to make the haupia after the pie has cooled since it will set up quickly. And though the recipe is for a pie, for convenience I baked it in a square pan.
HAUPIA SWEET POTATO PIE (Gluten-Free)
Makes one 8″x8″ pan, double recipe for 13″x9″ pan

Coconut Crust, Gluten-Free (based on “Tart Shell Crust” recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics):

1 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix (2 parts brown rice flour, 2/3 parts potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons toasted, unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack in center of oven. Spray an 8″x8″ square cake pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and xanthan gum. Add butter and mix (or pulse, or cut with pastry cutter) until crumbly. Add vanilla and mix well. Add macadamia nuts last, if using, and stir just enough to incorporate into dough. Mixture will be sandy, not sticky. Gently press mixture into bottom of square pan. Sprinkle unsweetened flaked coconut on top and press into crust.

Bake in center of oven for about 16-18 minutes or until golden. Set aside while you make sweet potato filling.

Sweet Potato Filling: 

2 cups baked or boiled sweet potato, cooled and skins removed (about  5)
1 egg
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lowfat soy milk

In a large mixing bowl beat sweet potato to break up, just for ten seconds (potatoes are already very soft.) Add egg, sugar and salt, beat to combine. Slowly add vanilla and soy milk. Mix well, about 1 minute.

Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared crust and bake for 30-33 minutes or until surface begins to brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for about an hour before making the haupia topping.

Haupia Topping (modified from ‘Ono Kine Grindz):

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1/2 cup water

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add water, mix well. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, pour in coconut milk and heat on medium high for about 2 minutes or until heated through. Stir cornstarch-sugar-water mixture to ensure everything is mixed well, then add to coconut milk. Stir constantly with wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula until mixture starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes (be sure you scrape the bottom of the pot.) Remove from heat.

Pour haupia mixture evenly onto sweet potato filling. Let sit on counter for about 15 minutes to cool off a bit. Make room in fridge so there’s plenty of room for air to circulate around the pan (I even turn down the temperature, normally set to 4, I make it colder to 6.) Chill at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. Cut into 16 squares.

Serve these delectable lemon-scented morsels with some chamomile tea.

I love how the internet can provide us with so many delicious ways to eat healthy. Search for a key ingredient, cuisine, or phrase like, “gramma’s blackberry jam” and you’re bound to find the one that’s just right for you. You may even come across a food blog that has some great ideas on healthy eats that are just too irresistible to pass up (hint, hint!)

Actually, that’s how I felt when I read The Veggie Nook’s latest creation this morning. I thought this would be a great recipe to try out, especially since I love lemons! I was so glad I had these ingredients on hand and started hauling out my food processor just minutes after reading her blog. I made a few changes, such as substituting some of the hemp seeds with raw sunflower seeds, adding coconut flour, used 2 figs and reduced the agave syrup, and I also added the juice of 1/2 lemon to satisfy my “sour tooth.” They’re a delicious and incredibly healthy snack, and you can find the recipe right here. Thank you, Gabby, for sharing this wonderful, spring-welcoming recipe!